“… Great Again” Really?

Since the infamous “shithole” statement uttered by the President of our United States, the print and cable commentators have reminded us that Trump’s 26% hard core voters are probably applauding yet another racist utterance from his mouth.

I live in Doylestown Borough where during the 2016 campaign season there were LOTS of Trump signs planted on the front lawns of homes. Pennsylvania went for him but the Borough went for Clinton. I wonder how many of those Trump voters in my community still support him, even as he continues to lack dignity or sanity. And I wonder how many Doylestown hard core Trump groupies hate Americans who are Black, Brown, Red or Yellow? Like me.

Six years ago a letter to the editor by a local woman was published in the “Intelligencer”. Christmas, the day of Good Will was a couple weeks away when she wrote:  “Santa Claus used to be a big fat man with a long white beard. Now, he is a skinny black man in a big white house.”

The paper published my rebuttal. As a ‘skinny black woman’, I invited her to engage in a dialogue about race. When a friend offered to facilitate the meeting, the woman declined. Instead she suggested I “go back to Africa.” Chalk up at least One Racist in my community.

Having traveled to the African countries of Egypt, Ghana, and Kenya, it is complicated when the president brands those nations and others as “shithole”.

Five hundred years ago European nations landed their ships on West African shores. They plundered Africa’s natural resources—humans included—shipping them back to countries in Europe, South America, America, or the Caribbean.

The mid-20th Century brought independence to African nations across the continent. After years of observing how their conquerors’ ruled, some African leaders chose to emulate their predecessors when ruling their freed people.

A few African rulers attempted to bring True Democracy. Last year I learned my African DNA traces to Ghana. When I traveled there in 1999, it captured my soul as soon as I planted my feet on its soil. That country–similar to all African countries–holds rich cultural histories that reach back thousands of years.

In 1957 Ghana was the first country liberated on the continent from the colonialists. Its first Ghanaian Prime Minister was Kwame Nkumah, educated in America. In its capital of Accra, there is a monument erected in honor of Kwame Nkumah.

While China crawls throughout the African continent grabbing its treasured minerals, America is led by a fool who continues to lie and who dismisses the second largest Continent on Planet Earth. Chinese funds constructed that monument to the first African Prime Minister who adopted American Democracy. During my 2015 sojourn to Kenya I traveled across roads built by China. China also funded the construction of the rail line from Nairobi to Mombasa.

For this American president demanding Africans stay “… in their huts” proves again his ignorance to America’s reputation around the World and his complete absence of empathy.

The Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. and all the Freedom Marchers are weeping down on us from Heaven.

Washington DC Monument to Rev Martin Luther King, Jr.

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Return to the Motherland

?????????????????Today, February 19 I travel to Kenya, East Africa—the Cradle of Civilization. This is my fourth Sojourn to the Motherland and my second to Kenya. In my other two Sojourns, 1999 carried my soul to Ghana where I walked inside the dungeons that imprisoned my African ancestors. In 2000 I rubbed  my hands across finely carved blocks of stone that created the Egyptian Pyramids.

I will travel with Phyllis Eckelmeyer and Alice Sparks. We form the volunteer triage for the Maasai Cultural Exchange Project (MCEP). For eight days we will live in the Maasai village of Olosho oibor–a village that is thriving because of the generous financial support from thousands of adults and school children in Bucks County and beyond.

When MCEP was founded in 2005 the goal was to raise funds for the drilling of a well that would bring potable water to the Maasai. Seen below at left is the first well–Christy’s Well— named so for its generous benefactor. This well was drilled in December 2005. It continues to bring potable water to the 5,000 Maasai living in Olosho oibor. A film crew accompanied MCEP Co-founders Phyllis Eckelmeyer and Jennifer Ellsworth to this drilling. A half hour documentary, QUENCH is completed and will be distributed to schools and other supporters of MCEP.

Ten years on–

7-2005 *There are now seven wells sited across Maasailand.

*One hundred Maasai children are benefitting from education sponsorships.

*The Maasai have installed pipelines and cisterns that carry water from the wells to schools, greenhouses and infirmaries.

*Maasai women have established a beading co-op that brings additional income into their households.

I’ll journal while in Kenya as blogging might be impossible with our busy itinerary. We’ll tour the wells, the schools, the greenhouses and meet with Maasai who have been instrumental in many of these improvements. We are also excited about the prospect of filming elder Maasai women while they retell ancient and indigenous folktales that have been carried down from previous generations. The Maasai language is not written down; and from these oral stories we will print children’s coloring books, similar to one we printed in 2011 titled The Lion, the Ostrich and the Squirrel.

What’s on My Bucket List for Kenya? 1) Inhale the scent of Africa as soon as I walk outside of the Nairobi Air Terminal; 2) Rise early one morning to milk a cow; 3) Feel the burden of carrying a jerry can on my back filled with water; 4) Visit the Market in Ngong Hills; 5) Walk the earth in the Rift Valley; 6) Attend the Maasai Sunday church service; 7) And everything else to absorb this last half of Black History Month 2015 while I Sojourn in Kenya, East Africa.